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Gadgets & Gizmos

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Apple releases iOS 5 details at Worldwide Developers Conference

Apple CEO Steve Jobs presented more than 5,000 Mac and iOS developers with all the details on iOS 5, the new iCloud service and Mac OS X Lion this morning in San Francisco. Lots of new features were shown for iOS 5 and in the interest of sharing the key points with you as quickly as possible, I have listed them below with brief descriptions.

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iOS 5 Update

Apple began their presentation by saying there are now 200 million iOS devices in play and 25 million of those are iPads. The iOS 5 update is said to have 200 new features, ten of which are major changes to the mobile operating system. The ten key new features are:

  1. Notification Center - Taking a cue from the Android platform, the Notification Center will give access to various apps with a swipe of the finger from the top of the screen. Notifications will be available for various apps, including email, SMS, Facebook and other apps that support it. The weather and stocks will be displayed at the top of the screen and the Notification Canter will slide, like a drawer, to give you quick access to your missed messages. Notifications will appear on the lock screen too so you will be alerted even if your device is not actively being used.
  2. Newsstand - Magazines and newspapers selling subscriptions will like this one. Newsstand is is similar to your bookshelf in iBooks and it's made to look like an old-fashioned newsstand rack. When magazines and newspapers are purchased they're automatically downloaded and placed on the Newsstand. This feature will be integrated with the home screen. New issues in a subscription will be automatically downloaded and placed on your Newsstand.
  3. Twitter - Twitter now traffics 1 billion tweets per week and Apple has decided it's for more integration with apps in iOS 5. The Camera and Photos apps will receive this integration making it simple to attach a photo by hitting the "tweet" button. Pages from Safari and locations from Maps also can be sent and contacts with Twitter handles can automatically be updated.
  4. Safari - Apple stated that two-thirds of all mobile web browsing is done with Safari.The Safari app in iOS 5 will have tabbed browsing, Twitter integration and the ability to email web page contents and links. The Safari Reader feature is a new button that takes all the distractions aways and leaves a single, scrolling story. And the Reading List feature lets you tag and sync things you want to read later so that they will be available on any of your linked devices.
  5. Reminders - These are electronic sticky notes on steroids that can store lists, reminders, dates and even geolocations. They even can be set to send you an alert based on your location. These will sync with iCal and across multiple devices as well.
  6. Camera updates - Camera controls and features will be updated with iOS 5 to provide better control. A new camera button on the lock screen will make it possible to use your iOS device as a camera without unlocking it, for times when you need to grab a quick photo. Additionally the volume-up button can be used to make pictures, for those who prefer a physical button. Camera zooming will be available with pinch and zoom on the screen and screen taps can be used to control focus and exposure on individual areas of a each image, like an auto focus and auto exposure lock feature. Light editing of photos with crop, rotate, reduce red-eye, and one-click enhance features will also be added to the app.
  7. Mail - The Mail app is getting a bunch of new features including rich-text formatting, indentation control, draggable addresses and flagging. The search function now will search the entire contents of messages and a built-in dictionary will be shared by Mail and all other apps that can use it. The iOS 5 keyboard can be separated into two haves for those who have less reach on the iPad's standard keyboard.
  8. PC Free - iOS 5 will give you the opportunity to cut the cord, with software updates pushing automatically to all devices. New iOS devices will not need to be set up with a computer because the entire setup and syncing process will occur wirelessly. Calendars can be created and deleted without a PC as can mailboxes. With more and more people using iPads without a PC, this makes things much easier.
  9. Game Center - The iOS operating system has become the most popular for online gaming. In just nine months the Game Center has 50 million users and in comparison, XBox live has around 30 million ins almost eight years. The Game Center app is getting updated with more social features, allowing you more interaction with friends to include viewing their game scores, getting game recommendations and playing of turn-based games. Also, games can be purchased and download from within the Game Center app
  10. iMessage - This is a new messaging app that supports the iPhone, iPad and the two most recent versions of the iPod Touch. The app lets you send text messages, photos, videos and contacts with real-time typing notification and delivery/read receipts. The app works across your devices so you can start a conversation on one device and finish it on another.

Two additional features mentioned included AirPlay mirroring, a feature that lets your iPad content on your TV, wirelessly, and wireless syncing of your iTunes library.

The iOS 5 update is scheduled to ship this fall and is compatible wit the iPhone 3GS and 4, both iPads and the 3rd and 4th gen iPod Touch.
 

(Photo by the Associated Press)

[Last modified: Tuesday, June 7, 2011 1:21pm]

    

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